Flight recorders of Lao Airlines' crashed ATR 72 still missing

Singapore
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Lao Airlines says it has lifted the rear fuselage of its crashed ATR 72-600 from the Mekong river, but the aircraft's flight recorders, which are located in that part of the aircraft, are still missing.

It adds that search teams are, however, still able to "capture the signal" of the flight recorders, and so are continuing in their efforts to pin down the exact location. Search teams used a crane to lift the turboprop's fuselage from the waters, and Laos' department of civil aviation says the recorders could have fallen out in the process.

Thus, recovery efforts continue eight days after flight QV301 crashed into the Mekong river on 16 October. The river's depth and strong current have hindered the search.

In the ATR aircraft, both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder are located aft of the rear pressure bulkhead below the aircraft's tail.

Earlier in the week, the carrier said it had located signals from the flight recorders, but that it has to do careful planning on how to retrieve the devices without causing any loss or damage.

It has so far recovered 45 bodies. There were five crew and 44 passengers on board the fatal flight.

The turboprop, registered as RDPL-34233, had accumulated 758 flight hours before the crash. It was delivered new to the airline this March and underwent A-checks in September.